Divers find body, search continues for second at Lake Powell

Lake Powell | Stock image

LAKE POWELL – One of the bodies of the two missing women involved in Thursday’s fatal boating accident at Lake Powell was found Sunday evening and identified as 29-year-old Valerie Rae Bradshaw, of Sandy.

Kane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Alan Alldredge said in a press release that at approximately 7:12 p.m., Sunday, the Utah Highway Patrol dive team located Bradshaw’s body in about 340 feet of water.

The Lake Powell dive team was able to retrieve the body with their robot and transported it to Wahweap Marina. From there it will be taken to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office’s medical investigator. Bradshaw’s body will be cared for by Mosdell Mortuary in Kanab.

Because the body was retrieved late in the day, search efforts were suspended for the night, Alldredge said. The dive team will begin searching in the same area Monday morning in hopes of locating Jessica Jackman.

Both Bradshaw and Jessica Jackman were reported missing after the motorboat they were on with 11 others flipped over after colliding with a houseboat. Following the accident, Marilyn Jackman, 57, of South Jordan, was also pronounced deceased, and three others were taken to hospitals in Arizona for treatment of minor, non-life threatening injuries. Among the injured was Adrian Jackman, 59, Marilyn Jackman’s husband, and an 11-year-old granddaughter.

All of the injured were treated and released from the hospitals the same day. No one on the houseboat with injured.

Alldredge said the accident occurred when the motorboat driver, Adrian Jackman, was distracted by some of the children on the boat and didn’t see the houseboat until it was too late to avoid and clipped it, causing the motorboat to flip over.

L-R: Valerie Rae Bradshaw, 29; Jessica Jackman, 22; missing since June 20 boating accident on Lake Powell | Photos courtesy of Kane County Emergency Services
L-R: Valerie Rae Bradshaw, 29; Jessica Jackman, 22; missing since June 20 boating accident on Lake Powell | Photos courtesy of Kane County Emergency Services


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Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Lake Powell | Stock image
Lake Powell | Stock image


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  • San June 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

    You know what occurs to me, as I’ve read this story in your publication and others…this is a classic case of a distracted driving accident. If this had happened on a highway, rather than on water, it would be prosecuted as negligence…wouldn’t it? Reading the original story, there was a young girl walking around the boat, unsecured, as it sped across the water. The driver, who must have seen the houseboat at some point, turned his head to watch her walk back to her seat…so why not throttle down? Why not hold her there with him until he could throttle down and then go over safety rules? If a kid walks through your minivan you don’t turn your head while driving on a freeway. I’ll probably get lambasted for writing all of this and showing insensitivity to the grief of a family who has lost so much…but it was senseless loss.

    • Zeke June 24, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Have you ever been to Lake Powell in the summer? It’s really easy to judge this tragic incident after the fact by comparing it to something completely different. I’ve been there many times driving boats, riding in boats, skiing, jet skiing (behind tour boat waves which is a blast) and other fun and potentially dangerous situations. Countless boats are all over the lake full of people having fun. Unfortunately, there are situations like this, and many others, that have tragic results for families. Nobody wants these things to happen but they can and do happen.

      To criticize others for what happened or what you think they should have done is an asinine thing to suggest.

      • San June 26, 2013 at 3:03 am

        Go back, read what you wrote, and then substitute the freeways at rush hour for your argument….It doesn’t make sense. If a lake is crowded with ‘countless boats’ then an overabundance of caution should be expected. No one ever wants to see an accident happen, or cause one…you really think I wrote that to ‘judge’ this guy? I think it’s more asinine to end the discussion out of respect for the victim’s family than it is to honor them by exploring new guidelines.

  • Brett June 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I almost hurt for this family. They have lost a wife and grandmother, a daughter, and someone else’s daughter. I know the boat driver is torturing himself, with a million “What Ifs.” Now is not a time of judgment. It’s time for compassion. That being said, however, I can’t understand why recreational boaters on Powell will happily speed along through narrow channels, mazes of other boats, in deep water without wearing a vest. I have no idea who was wearing a life vest in this horrible accident, but I doubt the poor gal in this story was where they found her body 340 ft down. Just a terrible tragedy. If anything positive can come out of it, hopefully, it will convince boaters to wear that jacket!

    • San June 26, 2013 at 2:57 am

      You make the right observation…I can’t understand it either., and that was my point. I’ve been on the water many times when weekend warriors crossed in front of friend’s boats, distracted, operating at breakneck speeds. I’m not interested in judging this individual…who probably lost his own spirit in that accident. Having said that…When are we going to realize though that boats can go faster on the water, unregulated and out of ‘lanes’, than cars can on any freeway? Another point, just because you can buy/rent a boat with your credit card doesn’t mean you are trained or adequately insured. Motorcyclists need a designation on their drivers licenses before they take to the road, boat operators are not required to have ANY training. It’s the Wild Wild West on every lake in Utah this summer.

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